How to Identify Certified Supplements and Ensure Quality

Learn how to identify certified dietary supplements & ensure quality with tips from NSF International & other third-party certifiers.

How to Identify Certified Supplements and Ensure Quality

When it comes to dietary supplements, it's essential to make sure that the product you're consuming is certified by a third-party. Products that have been certified by third parties will have a certification seal on the certification company's label. Certification stamps are proof that the product is safe and lives up to their claims. If you don't see a third-party certification logo on your supplement, it probably isn't certified.

NSF is the only independent, external testing organization that offers real testing of dietary supplements. NSF is not limited to evaluating test data submitted by manufacturers or analyzing a single sample of a product and giving its approval. We carry out product tests in our own accredited laboratories to confirm that the actual content of the complementary product matches what is printed on the label. We also verify that the products that have our certification do not contain ingredients that are not on the list or levels of potentially harmful impurities. So how can you determine which supplements you should consume? First, make sure you need the supplement.

Do the proper evaluation, such as a blood test, to make sure you really need it. If you need more of a nutrient, check if you can get the vitamin, mineral, herb, or substance in food form first. If dietary or lifestyle changes aren't possible, consider adding that specific supplement. If a supplement seems too good to be true, it probably is. Credible supplements have peer-reviewed scientific literature that supports their use and effectiveness.

Also, make sure that the recommended dosage is backed by science. If so, it will also be analysed in supporting studies. More doses don't always equal better results, so be careful with megadoses. All of the supplements that InsideTracker recommends are backed by numerous studies and come with personalized dosing instructions. Talk to your doctor if you are taking medications, are pregnant or breastfeeding. Buy supplements from a reputable source.

Since supplements aren't regulated, many companies don't go through the hassle of quality control to ensure that the label matches the product and that the ingredients in the bottle are pure. Large domestic brands are better at this than small, one-off companies because they can afford quality control measures. Look for third-party verification on the jar. Many supplements are certified by the USP (the U.

S.) Pharmacopea (Convention) or NSF International, external organizations that test supplements to determine if what appears on the label is actually in the bottle and if the product does not contain high levels of contaminants, such as heavy metals. You'll see these credentials on a supplement label. However, it's expensive and not all companies can afford the analysis. Look for third-party verification online Many herbal supplements won't have third-party verification. To ensure that your level of contamination is the lowest, buy organic herbal supplements to ensure that harmful pesticides aren't included in the supplement.

Many trusted companies provide information about the origin of their herbs and are proud to share it. Buying products from big, well-known brands also increases the likelihood that the supplement will contain the right amount of the active ingredient. Choose single-ingredient supplements Supplements that contain a single ingredient are more likely to contain the amount of the ingredient advertised on the label and less likely to have high levels of contamination. Companies that sell “patented” blends do not have to indicate the amount of any ingredient on their labels and should be avoided. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates several products such as foods, cosmetics, supplements and pharmaceutical drugs, does not verify the content of dietary supplements and, therefore, many third-party certifiers are responsible for confirming the accuracy of a product label. The next way in which supplements are regulated is through the current Good Manufacturing Practices regulation, which requires supplement manufacturers to follow guidelines to ensure the quality of their products. Supplements manufactured and sold in North America are regulated by government authorities and must meet specific quality standards.

Some accredited testing companies include USP, NSF International, Consumer Labs, and Natural Products Association. Each one has a certification seal and you can search their websites for lists of verified products. Supplements certified by third parties often display logos or stamps on their label. Some supplement companies brag that their products contain certain beneficial ingredients but they only include minimal amounts, not enough to be effective. Pharmacopoeia (USP) is a large independent quality assessment program used to assess the quality of supplements and medications. As in the United States, manufacturers in Canada must have an installation license and produce supplements in accordance with good manufacturing practices which describe specific standards for testing, manufacture, storage and distribution of products. If you're a patient, it's best to talk to your comprehensive health professional before buying dietary supplements.

They can help you determine which high-quality supplement products are right for your preferences and your wellness plan.

Elise Ledwig
Elise Ledwig

Professional tv expert. Freelance zombie guru. Proud gamer. Proud bacon fanatic. Proud pop culture practitioner.

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